"Look around the bank and ask the tellers when you go in to make sure you are taking full advantage of everything they have to offer," Kaplan says.
Customers should be aware that not all financial products offered at bank branches are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., or FDIC, a government agency that protects depositors from losses, up to certain limits, if a bank goes out of business. Examples of products that are not FDIC-insured include investment accounts, annuities and life insurance. If in doubt, ask for details.
Banks may say no to lots of coinsNot all banks accept large quantities of loose coins as deposits, so it's smart to find out the bank's policy before you lug a milk jug of spare change into a branch, Kaplan says.
Contrary to popular belief, banks aren't obligated to accept large quantities of coins, even though they're legal U.S. currency, because it's "not economically feasible," to use Kaplan's words, for banks to count everyone's coins. Some branches have a coin-counting machine that can sort coins into denominations and total the amounts. This service may be offered free or for a fee.
Fridays are naturally high-traffic days at many bank branches due to paycheck deposits, according to Pace. If you don't want to wait in line to speak with a teller, avoid this day of the week.
Branches may open, close to meet demandIt's not unusual for banks to open additional branches if they perceive an opportunity to get more business in a certain area or to close branches if demand is low or they acquire a competitor that also has branches nearby. Bank of America, for instance, has closed some banking centers for both of those reasons.
"In some cases, we had banking centers within a mile radius of one another. It didn't make sense to have two that close together," Pace says.
Many people choose a bank based on the convenience of the branch locations or because their parents were longtime customers. But those who aren't satisfied with a bank's services or quality of service do have choices, 99,546 of them, to be exact.
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